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For the Love of Travel Series- Christy from Living in the Promise (Guest Post)

*This week, we are going to try things a little differently, mainly because Loek takes issue with my use of orange font! So, the questions will be in bold. Let me know which one you like better. 

Today's post comes to you from someone who is more like a sister to me than a friend. Christy and I grew up across the street and one house down from each other. Along with our friend Hayley, who was four houses down from me, we were inseparable from the time we were eleven until eighteen. Then we grew up and moved away, went to college, started families, etc. But, whenever we get together it is like no time has passed at all. 

Christy just recently got her Master's in Counseling in Student Services in Higher Ed, she lives in Statesboro, Ga with her husband Scott. You can follow her at Living in the Promise. Let's start this shall we?

Where are you at this moment?

My husband and I live in Statesboro, Georgia, which is about 45 minutes West of Savannah. If you aren’t familiar with the state, we’re in the SE of the United States, and my city is in the SE of Georgia. We are very close to South Carolina and just a few short hours away from Florida. We recently bought a house, so I’ll probably be here for the next 5 years at least!
 
Where did you grow up?
 
Snellville, GA, which is close to Atlanta, that state’s capitol.
 
Do you have to travel for your job?
 
Very little. Sometimes I have to travel to other cities for conferences or other events, but it’s usually just to Savannah or occasionally Jacksonville, Florida.
 
What is your favorite destination and why?
 
My favorite place I’ve ever visited would probably have to be London. I studied abroad and spent 6 weeks there in the Summer of 2007. It’s definitely the farthest I’ve ever traveled and for the longest amount of time. Part of what I loved about it was simply the independence of doing something so outside of my normal routine and having the guts to do it without any family or close friends by my side. Fortunately, I made close friends while I was there (one of them is actually my sister-in-law now because after coming back to the States, I met her brother and we fell in love.) But what I loved about London itself was the way that everyone walked around and used public transportation to get places, the history, the beautiful landmarks, the pubs, the plays, and the accents!!
 
What is your least favorite destination and why?
 
I guess my least favorite place that I’ve visited would have to be Nassau in the Bahamas. I’ve been twice. The first time I just visited the city itself. I’m not a big market shopper, so I wasn’t impressed with the straw market that everyone raves about, and I felt very uncomfortable with all the people trying to talk me into buying things. We went to Senor Frogs for lunch and it felt like a Spring Break party which is not really my scene. And I didn’t feel particularly safe walking around the city. The second time I visited, I went to Atlantis which was BEAUTIFUL! But I realize that’s just for tourists and isn’t a good depiction of what the city is really like.
 
What is your favorite vacation memory?
 
This is a hard one!! It would probably have to be during my honeymoon in Aruba. Everything was beautiful and fun and exciting, but I think my favorite thing was planning all the activities with my husband and realizing that I would be spending the rest of my life making plans with him and I couldn’t be happier about it!
 
How do you pack and do you have any items that you have to take with you?
 
It depends on the length of the trip. If it’s a week or less, I usually try to pack at least one outfit per day, and maybe a couple extra ones for just lounging around or fancy ones for going out. I hardly ever go through all of them, but I’m terrible about packing things “just in case!” If it’s a longer trip, like my trip to London, I try to pack enough basic pieces like jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, etc…things that can be mixed and matched, and just plan to do laundry. I always pack way more underwear than I’ll ever need! For other, non-clothing items, I always make a list just to make sure I don’t forget anything. I always pack a camera, sunscreen, aloe (I burn easily!), and at least one book.
 
 
 
 
Do you have any trips planned for the future?
 
My husband and I are thinking about our anniversary trip (May 30th is the big day…it’ll be 4 years!). We may go on another cruise (it’ll be our third one) or we may just do something low-key like getting a cabin in the mountains of North Georgia or Tennessee. We’ve also talked about doing a long weekend in Charleston or something. Honestly it’s going to depend on our tax refund and how much vacation time I can get at work!
 
How do you plan your trips?
 
We usually do one big vacation a year for our anniversary, and then maybe a couple weekend trips throughout the year. And we usually do a week at a beach house with my hubby’s family during the summer. When it comes to our anniversary, we first consider money. We usually spend most or all of our tax refund on that trip. So, we wait until we file taxes to see what we’re working with. Then we try to plan accordingly. After we have a destination in mind, we research all the attractions and make lists of things we want to do. We are definitely planners! When we took a trip to Disney World for our 2-year anniversary we had custom maps ordered from Disney that were specially marked with all the attractions we wanted to visit while we were there.
 
What is your dream vacation?
 
I’m happy with trips small or big. I just love getting away for a while and spending quality time with my hubby. I think my dream right now would be to go back to London and take him with me. It was such a special time in my life and I have such wonderful memories from there. I just want to share those with him in some way. There are SO many places I’ve never been and would love to visit, but I don’t have one particular place I want to see more than others. I’m open to almost anything as long as the company is good! (Or to visit one of your besties who lives across the Atlantic?)
 
What kind of traveler are you? 
 
I like city trips, like London. But I often feel like beach vacations can be the most relaxing and affordable. Sometimes we are working with a small budget and we just want something where we can be together and relax and forget about work or school or whatever else life has been throwing at us lately. Beaches often fit the bill better than anything else. And it’s much easier to control how much you spend at the beach. I don’t mind flying, but we don’t often go on vacations that require it. Plus I find that car trips can be a fun way to kick off a vacation. I love singing in the car or just having time to talk.
 
 
Thanks so much Christy! If you have any questions or comments leave them below! We love comments! Let me know how you feel about the new layout! Don't forget if you want to participate in this series, send an email to gapeachabroad.com
 
England
 
London Eye
 
London Big Ben
 
Stonehenge
 
Savannah
 
Savannah Forsyth Park
 
Savannah
 
 
Aruba
 
Aruba
 
Aruba
 
Aruba Sunset
 
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For the Love of Travel Series- Megan from Megan O Travels (Guest Post)

Welcome to this week's edition of For the Love of Travel, a series of guest posts where people share their travel experiences. I hope you are enjoying reading the stories as much as I am. This week's post is from Megan of Megan O Travels. She is actually going to be heading to Amsterdam later this week. 

Here is Megan's story.

Tell the readers a bit about you. 

For as long as I can remember, travel is the one thing that’s always made me happy. When I was a little girl, I looked forward to our family trips to the beach and the mountains, and made my dad tell me bedtime stories about how much fun Disney World was going to be. As I got older, I started dreaming about new places to visit and began venturing out on my own. Now, it’s blossomed into a full-on addiction, in which I can’t escape thoughts of travel. I seem to live my
life planning and preparing for or being on a trip, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
 
First things first, where are you at this moment?
 
I currently live in Austin, Texas.
 
Where did you grow up?
 
I was born in Austin, but raised in a small town in south-central Pennsylvania.
 
What is your favorite destination and why?
 
I always have a hard time answering this question because I love so many places for so many different reasons. But I think the one place that absolutely takes the cake for me is Iceland. Iceland is just magical—the landscapes are absolutely breathtaking, the people are beyond friendly, the horses and puffins are adorable, and Icelanders believe in elves and trolls!
 
What is your least favorite destination and why?
 
I don’t really have one. I try to find something positive about every place I visit—even if it’s just one small thing.
 
What is your favorite vacation memory?
 
It’s a big memory—but the entire summer I spent in Rome in 2006. It was my first time traveling abroad, my first solo trip, and a trip that really forced me to break out of my shell and learn to be myself. I also met some of the most amazing people ever on that trip, most of whom I still maintain contact with. And lastly, that was the summer that Italy won the World Cup and the country just exploded in celebration.
 
What is your profession and do you ever travel for business?
 
I’m the lead technical writer and web administrator for a government agency. Unfortunately, since it’s state government, I don’t get to go anywhere. Not even to other parts of Texas.
 
How do you pack and do you have any items that you have to take with you?
 
I’m kind of neurotic about packing. I created a packing checklist and I always use that. I also sort of build every outfit before I go to ensure I’m taking the least amount possible. I always take my Kindle and iPhone. Beyond that, I always pack at least one nice outfit in case I decide to have a nice dinner or go out somewhere fancier.
 
Do you have any trips planned for the future?
 
I do! I’m headed to the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and Czech Republic at the end of this week. I couldn’t be more excited.
 
How do you plan your trips?
 
Typically I pick a destination (or several) that interests me and start looking into things to see and do. From there, I narrow it down, decide how long I need to go, and start planning the logistics: where to stay, do I need a car, how much will it cost, etc.
 
What is your dream vacation?
 
This answer changes every few days. Right now, I’d love to get an over-water bungalow in Bora Bora and spend my days soaking up the sun, swimming, and reading.
 
What kind of traveler are you? 
 
I’m a pretty easy-going traveler. I prefer city and nature vacations. I’m not much of a beach person (which is probably strange given I just said I want to go to Bora Bora). I love to fly, take the train, and drive. I abhor buses (I had a really terrible experience taking a bus from London to Amsterdam a few years ago).
 
I’ve joined a few tour trips—mostly as day excursions from a particular destination. Otherwise, I prefer to travel with friends or family.
 
Check out these photos!
 
Iceland
 
 
 
Italy
 
 
Philiadelphia
 
 
 
London
 
 
 
Thanks so much Megan! If you have any questions or comments for Megan, leave them below. Want to be featured in the For Love of Travel Series? Just shoot an email to Gapeachabroad@gmail.com
 
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For the Love of Travel Series- Tania (Guest Post)

Palau

You guys, I am so excited to already be able to put up my first guest post. This one comes from one of my readers Tania. As I mentioned in my last post, I am looking to learn more about your travel experiences, so if you are willing to help just drop a comment or email to gapeachabroad@gmail.com

Without further ado here is Tania's story:

Tell the readers a little bit about you. 
 
Well, let’s see. I’m 28, love sea turtles and the color purple. I have lived in four different
countries and in several cities/states within those countries. I’m fluent in Spanish and English,
and currently learning Dutch. I’m happiest near the water.
 
First things first, where are you at this moment?
 
I’m living in NYC
 
Where did you grow up?
 
Between Honduras, Costa Rica and NYC.
 
What is your favorite destination and why?
 
Palau, by far! It is an island in the Pacific near the Philippines and Australia. I lived there for
a year teaching 4th grade at a private school. It is pretty much paradise and the people are
amazing.
 
What is your favorite vacation memory?
 
During the year I spent in Palau I was able to swim with jellyfish without getting stung,
sharks, wild dolphins, and sea turtles. (This would be my nightmare!)
 
What is your profession and do you ever travel for business?
 
I’m a school counselor. I haven’t traveled for business yet, but since I do a lot of career/
college counseling I’m hoping sometime in the future I can travel with my students to
visit colleges abroad.
 
How do you pack and do you have any items that you have to take with you?
 
I’m really bad when it comes to packing, I usually leave it to the last minute. Fortunately
I have yet to forget to take anything! I try not to stress about packing because once I get
to my destination I can always just buy whatever I forgot. I hate chapped lips though so
several lip balms are a must. My camera is another item I would die if I forget.
 
Do you have any trips planned for the future?
 
I’m hoping to go back to Palau for a visit in May this year, and in the summer of 2014 I’m
planning on going to Amsterdam for my 30th birthday. (Yay! Amsterdam)
 
What kind of traveler are you? 
 
Beach/resort vacations are more my style to be honest. I like the idea of going
somewhere and falling asleep with the sound of the ocean and smelling the combination
of salt and tropical flowers in the air. However, I don’t rule out cities. In that case I rather
experience them from a local’s point of view rather than a tourist so tour groups are not
my thing. Fortunately, I joined Interpals.net and follow different blogs so I have local
contacts in different countries.
 
So far I’ve traveled with family and friends, but I’m planning a solo vacation for some
time in the future.
 
Wow, I don't think I could pick out Palau on a map! But after looking at Tania's photos, I might just have to add it to my list of places to go! Thanks so much Tania! If you have any questions for Tania about Palau or any of the other places she has visited leave some comments for her here. Seriously, how gorg are these photos?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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